02142016Sun
Last update: Sun, 14 Feb 2016 07pm

South East Asia

World - South East Asia

Thai opposition torn between elections and 'revolution' BANGKOK: She is a poster child for a Thai elite campaigning to freeze democracy. But when Chitpas Bhirombhakdi is not on stage cheerleading for a self-styled "people's revolution", she is quietly preparing a bid for parliament.It is a contradiction that highlights the dilemma facing Thailand's oldest -- but by no means most popular -- political party, the Democrats, whose lawmakers recently resigned en masse from parliament to join opposition street protests.The party must soon decide whether to take part in, or boycott, a general election that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has called for February 2 -- a decision that could determine the fate of the country's fragile democracy."We don't know whether there's going to be a general election or not but as a politician I have to be prepared for it," Chitpas said.The Democrat-backed street protest movement has rejected the election, raising concerns that the party may decide to boycott ...

World - South East Asia

Australian PM says easing Qantas restrictions not unreasonable: media PERTH: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has backed calls from embattled Qantas Airways Ltd (QAN.AX) to have restrictions that include limits to foreign ownership eased as the carrier faces a record loss and increased competition, local media said. Abbott said the request from Qantas for a "level playing field" with competitor Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (VAH.AX), which is not subject to the same restrictions, was not "an unreasonable request". "Where we ...

World - South East Asia

Fresh rally as Cambodian opposition demand new poll PHNOM PENH: Thousands of Cambodian opposition supporters on Sunday staged a fresh demonstration against Prime Minister Hun Sen's hotly disputed July election win, calling for a new poll to settle allegations of vote rigging.Around 5,000 protesters, many waving Cambodian flags and banners, massed in a park in the capital Phnom Penh early Sunday demanding the strongman premier call a new election -- the first time they have made the demand.The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party ...

World - South East Asia

Iran brings monkey back safely from space: president TEHRAN: Iran said on Saturday that it had safely returned a monkey to Earth after blasting it into space in the second such launch this year in its controversial ballistic programme.President Hassan Rouhani congratulated the scientists involved in the mission, in a message carried by Iran's official IRNA news agency.In January, Iran said it had successfully brought a live monkey back to Earth from orbit.But the experiment's success was disputed, when a different monkey was ...

World - South East Asia

Earthquake with 5.5 magnitude shakes buildings in Tokyo TOKYO:- An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.5 hit eastern Japan on Saturday but no tsunami warning was issued, Japan's national broadcaster said.There were no reports of immediate damage.On March 11, 2011 Japan's northeast coast was struck by a magnitude 9 earthquake, the strongest quake recorded in the country, triggering a massive tsunami and resulting in the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years. The disaster left up to 20,000 dead or missing.Copyright Reuters, ...

World - South East Asia

US warns North Korea against provocation following execution SEOUL: The United States has warned North Korea against any "provocative acts" following the shock execution of leader Kim Jong-Un's uncle, as the reclusive state campaigned to rally support behind the young supremo.Washington also sought to step up talks with its Asian allies, voicing concern over regional stability after Jang Song-Thaek -- seen as Kim's political regent and the country's unofficial number two -- was executed on Thursday following a special military trial."Certainly, it's something ...

World - South East Asia

US, Chinese warships nearly collide in South China Sea WASHINGTON: A Chinese naval vessel came dangerously close to a US warship during a tense incident in the South China Sea last week, US military officials said Friday.The USS Cowpens, a guided missile cruiser, was forced to maneuver to avoid a collision with the Chinese ship that had crossed directly in front of it and halted, according to naval officers and defense officials.China's amphibious dock ship came less than 500 yards (meters) from the American ...